For my birthday two years ago, I visited Terra Valentine Winery on Spring Mountain. Curious about how my bottles of the 2005 Terra Valentine Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon were ageing, I popped the cork on one the other day to pair with homemade risotto. As I stirred the risotto and slowly added chicken broth, white wine, cracked pepper, and parmesan cheese, I swirled and sipped my first glass of wine. The wine was very dry, with tannins that made me thirsty for water. The only aroma I detected was that of an almost medicinal-like smell that I wasn't sure I could appreciate.
During my tours at Chappellet, I routinely discuss the importance of serving temperature for wine. I talk about how serving a wine (white or red) at too cold of a temperature will mute the flavors and aromas of the wine. Sure enough, this bottle of 2005 Cab came straight out of my 59.6 degree cellar and I'll admit I was a little too quick to judge it.
After a bite of gouda, the wine tasted much better; the fat in the cheese quickly smoothed out the chalky tannins in the wine. And by the time I sat down with a big bowl of risotto, the wine had warmed up and finally revealed its true "colors". The medicinal aromas were replaced by notes of licorice, sage, cola and ripe cherry. The palate opened up nicely with bright flavors of juicy plum black cherry; the finish was long and fruity with a hint of espresso. Savoring my second glass, I was reminded by how much I love Terra Valentine's wines.